Nashville Museum Celebrates the Life of ‘The Man in Black’

The country music legend passed 20 years ago, but a downtown Nashville attraction is hoping to keep his spirit alive.
This week we remember a country music legend. It's been 20 years since Johnny Cash died.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Sept. 12 marked 20 years since the death of country music legend Johnny Cash.

To help keep his spirit alive, a downtown Nashville attraction displays a behind-the-scenes look into the star’s life.

Inside the Johnny Cash Museum, you’ll find unique artifacts including the very chair that Cash sat in for one of his many music videos. It’s among the many keepsakes that Cash cherished. That includes marbles he played with as a child, school paraphernalia like report cards and senior pictures, and even love letters he wrote while in the military.

Bill Miller, owner of the museum and an old friend of Cash, said the musician’s presence is still felt today.

“We don’t present his death in the museum because I really feel like everywhere you go Johnny Cash is still alive,” Miller said.

Miller said the attraction is a one-stop shop that gives guests the chance to experience all things Johnny. He said the museum is displayed in chronological order.

“So, when you enter, you’re going to see Johnny’s birth certificate,” Miller said. “As you move on, you’re going to see when he went into the Air Force...Just basically moving through his entire life.”

For the last ten years, the museum has welcomed fans from all over the world. This year, it was voted the best music museum by USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

“Forget about any trophies or anything else,” Miller said. “The fact that people still come to Johnny Cash to learn about him, to honor him. That’s better than the money that’s better than the awards. That’s the ultimate reward for me.”

Miller said he’s happy to bring people even closer to the artist known as “The Man in Black.”

“I think people just had comfort knowing Johnny Cash was there with his wisdom, his kindness and his humility,” Miller said. “I think that’s probably what me and millions of other people miss.”

The museum has also been ranked the number one music museum in the world by publications like Forbes and National Geographic Traveler.